Townsville announced as Australia's first ethanol to Sustainable Aviation Fuel plant

13th February 2024

JetZero Australia announced the successful execution of a groundbreaking licence and Engineering Agreement for Australia between JetZero and LanzaJet, marking a significant milestone for Australia.  

JetZero and LanzaJet, lays the foundation for the country’s inaugural LanzaJet ethanol to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) plant, positioning Australia as a leader in sustainable aviation.  

The development of Project Ulysses, A North Queensland Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) project using LanzaJet’s Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) technology, converts bioethanol into SAF and renewable diesel. The project is the first LanzaJet ethanol to SAF plant in the country.  

This project will revolutionise the aviation industry by converting agricultural byproducts sourced from sustainable origins into 102 million liters of SAF annually, that's the equivalent amount of SAF production which on a maximum blend, could meet the annual jet fuel demands for Cairns and Townsville Airports. Also having the potential to reduce CO2 emissions on a commercial flight by approximately 70% on a net lifecycle basis, relative to traditional fossil-based jet fuel.  

Claudia Brumme-Smith, CEO, Townsville Enterprise says “today’s announcement of the first Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Refinery to be built in Australia, right here in Townsville is another strong sign of confidence by globally leading companies such as Jetzero, Airbus and Qantas to make Townsville Australia’s leading green manufacturing hub,” 

“We know that this announcement will put us on the map nationally and globally within the aviation sector and will ensure long-term strategic partnerships. This plant will jumpstart the country’s commitment to clean aviation and ensure the entire process of SAF production takes place within Australia. SAF has been identified by airlines, governments, and energy leaders as the clearest and most immediate solution to decarbonizing aviation, which amounts to approximately 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions,” Mrs. Brumme-Smith said.  

“We congratulate our Townsville Enterprise Member Jetzero for their foresight, confidence in our region and we look forward to working closely in coming months. Construction on the Queensland plant is expected to in 2024,” Mrs. Brumme-Smith said.  

Jimmy Samartzis, CEO, LanzaJet says “At LanzaJet, we believe in building industry, protecting our climate, and enabling energy and national security - and our work in Australia delivers that ambition, doing leading edge work requires partnership, and we're proud to join Jet Zero Australia, the Queensland Government, Airbus, and Qantas to position Australia as a leader in the region on Sustainable Aviation Fuels with direct impact in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enabling job creation, and preserving Australia's environment for generations to come.” 

Edward Mason, CEO, Jet Zero says “We are extremely excited to have executed these two key agreements with LanzaJet. Not only do they allow the project to move forward to Final Investment Decision, but more importantly they cement a long-standing relationship with a key partner to the project. We thank LanzaJet along with our project partners Qantas and Airbus in making this possible.” 

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